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British Championship Rd. 1 (30.07.2011.)

Dorset’s Match Captain, Alf Bullock of Poole, died last month at the age of 85 after a long illness. He was a regular character on the westcountry congress circuit and was his county’s non-playing captain, though often having to sit in at short notice for missing players.

Alf Bullock at the Exmouth Seniors Congress


The British Championships started in Sheffield on Monday after a late surge had pushed the overall entry to a healthy 875+. The Championship section features 12 Grandmasters and 20 other titled players among the 86 entrants. One interesting, probably unique feature is the mother and son combination of Susan Lalic and her 16 year old son Peter. Over the years, several father and son pairs have played in the same championship, but I can’t recall a mother and child pair having played before – this may be a first.

In Round 1, Peter won fairly quickly and his mother must have felt duty bound to assert her own bragging rights and went on to create one of the surprises of the first week by beating Simon Williams, the self-styled Ginger GM, in the following game.

White: S. K. Lalic (2277). Black: Simon Williams (2528)

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.Bg5 Be7 5.e5 Nfd7 6.h4 c5? 7.Bxe7 Kxe7 If 7…Qxe7 the knight will be able to invade Black’s position, but now the black king may get stuck in the centre. 8.Nf3 Nc6 9.Qd2 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Qb6 The race is now on to attack each king a.s.a.p. 11.Nxc6+ bxc6 12.0–0–0 h6 If 12…Nxe5 13.Qg5+ f6 14.Qxg7+ further weakening the black king. 13.f4 Rb8 14.b3 Nc5 15.Rh3 Rd8 16.Qd4 blockading the d-pawn. 16…Qa5 17.h5 Rb4 18.Qf2 d4 Black’s steamroller picks up speed. 19.Qh4+ Ke8 20.Nb1 Qxa2 21.Rg3 Rd5 22.Bc4 d3 threatening mate on c2 23.Rdxd3 Nxd3+ 24.Bxd3 Rxb3 Sacrificing material to break open the king’s position, but did Black overlook 24…Rxe5? when White cannot  capture the rook without losing her queen. 25.cxb3 Qf2 26.Qg4 a5 27.Qxg7 Qxf4+ 28.Kb2 Rxe5 29.Qg8+ Kd7 30.Rf3 Qd4+ 31.Nc3 f5 32.Rg3 Kc7 33.Bc2 White succeeds in tucking her king away before going on the attack herself.  33…Qf4 34.Rg7+ Bd7 35.Qa8 Qd4 36.Rg8 Rb5 37.Qd8+ Kd6 38.Qf8+ Kc7 39.Qg7 Re5 40.Qf6 Rd5 41.Qd8+ Kd6 42.Qf8+ Ke5 43.Qxh6 1–0. White is a piece up and now has an advanced passed pawn. Black’s slip as early as move 6 eventually proved his undoing.

The solution to David Howard’s problem last week was 1. Qd8! threatening 2. Qxa5.

This position arose in a game between past and present residents of Paignton at the local congress. How did Keith Arkell (Black against Gary Lane) finish the game in 3 moves?

Black to play and mate in 3

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